Water under the new bridges

New Bridgewater Bridge contractor announced


L-R: Daniel Longey (VEC), Minister Michael Ferguson, Senator Claire Chandler, David Sims (McConnell Dowell), at Downer Group premises at Austins Ferry.

If you drive one of 22,000 cars that travel across the Bridgewater Bridge each day, you’ll be happy to see construction starting for an additional four lane bridge downstream of the existing one. This will be the largest transport infrastructure project in Tasmania’s history.

It was recently announced that the successful contractor is McConnell Dowell, and the work will cost an estimated $786 million. The bridge will have more traffic lanes, better interchanges at Granton and Bridgewater, a safe shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians, and a navigation height matching the Bowen Bridge.

Brighton Council Mayor Leigh Gray explained, “Our local community expressed the need for better links for local traffic and as a result the chosen design incorporates an onramp from Boyer Road directly onto the bridge for traffic travelling south.” Improving safety and reducing congestion were key considerations in the design process. Mayor Gray described the process as having been in the works for a number of years and it was “gratifying that it is about to become reality.”

The scale of the project is also a welcome boost for education, training and employment in the area with 830 jobs created directly and indirectly from the project. There are 200 new jobs up for grabs for locals, with 25% to be recruited from Brighton, Derwent Valley and Glenorchy local government areas. “Brighton Council congratulates the State and Federal Governments for progressing such an important project,” says Mr Gray. The existing bridge was the fourth in its place, and at 75 years of age, has become expensive, unsafe and unreliable with talks in the pipeline of its potential removal once the new bridge is fully functional.

Merriworth Road and Willowbrook Road Bridge Upgrades

All finished! Both the Merriworth and Willowbrook Bridges over Strathallan Rivulet in Tea Tree have been completed on time and within budget. The previous structures were made from timber, and were deteriorating rapidly and beyond economical repair.

With a growing population and a need for greater user safety, replacement of the bridges was a priority. Residents and visitors have said goodbye to the old bridges, and instead will now drive over new, technically superior and low maintenance bridges until at least 2122, which is the lifespan to be expected from the new bridges.

Constructed by Tasmanian specialist bridge contractors, BridgePro Engineering, the bridges will provide secure access in all weather conditions, ensuring Brighton Council ratepayers can get home safely regardless of the unpredictable Tasmanian weather.

Brighton Council is committed to upgrading facilities for its residents, ratepayers and visitors by utilising rate payments, sometimes in conjunction with grants, such as in this project.